Individuals and small businesses with under 20 subscribers will be denied the BES plan from May 1.
RIM has confirmed that the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRA) in the UAE will place new policy restrictions on its Blackberry Enterprise Services (BES) for Blackberry smartphones.
Effective from May 1, the BES plan will be denied to individuals and small businesses that has less than 20 subscribers. The Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) plan will be available, however.
TRA has yet to issue a detailed statement, but it has said that the current BES subscribers will continue to receive plan-exclusive services through BIS.
The reason behind the new policy is unclear, though according to Matthew Reed, a senior analyst at Informa Telecom & Media in Dubai, it could be to help better cut out individuals and small groups that may be linked to organized crime.
Blackberry Internet Service plan is usually less secure than the Enterprise Service accounts, which have a higher level of encryption, making it hard for government bodies to regulate.
“My best guess is that it is linked to their concerns about security in a broader way,” said Reed. “This is a blunt tool to target the small entities and individuals that are linked to organized crime or terrorist networks.”
RIM has made clear that the new policy change is not restricted to only Blackberry services. According to the Canadian company, TRA “confirmed to RIM that any potential policy regarding enterprise services in the UAE would be an industry-wide policy, applying equally to all enterprise solution providers and with the intent of avoiding any impact on legitimate enterprise customers.”